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Hyundai plans replacements

i30 to take place of Elantra; next in line may be Sonata, reports Suprotip Ghosh.

autos Updated: Nov 01, 2007 22:32 IST
Suprotip Ghosh

South Korean auto giant Hyundai Motor Company, the parent of Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), is working on a prototype to replace its Elantra sedan.



The new car, i30, would be a next-generation sedan that Hyundai wants to launch in India sometime next year. "We are working on the i30 in Korea. We will launch it when it is ready," HS Lheem, Managing Director, Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) told

Hindustan Times

on the sidelines of the launch of the i10, the company's new compact car.



The Elantra and the Sonata Embera have suffered reverses in the C and D segments with the launch of new cars, including the Toyota Camry, the Honda Civic and the Honda Accord. Lheem said that the i30 is a premium hatchback modeled on the lines of the Chevrolet SRV, but added that the i30 launched in India would be a sedan.



"We have stopped selling the Elantra as it is a completely knocked down (CKD) unit and there are excise issues in bringing the parts down from Korea," Lheem added.



India is emerging as HMIL's small car exporting hub of the world, said J Kook Choi, President, Hyundai Motor.



Car sales in the country have slumped this year hit by a credit squeeze, according to industry data. Numbers for Hyundai's B+ segment, which offers the Verna sedan, has also seen stagnating sales. HMIL is also increasing its dealerships from 196 dealers operating now to 300 next year as a part of its consolidation strategy, Lheem said.